Whilst we all know that it is inevitable that children will have periods of illness during their time at school, it is essential that we look at ways to minimise this and the impact it has on achievement. Regular and punctual school attendance is essential – only pupils who attend school regularly can take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them.
What is good attendance? All pupils should strive towards achieving at least 95% attendance. Once attendance drops to 90% you child is classed by the Department of Education as being ‘Persistently Absent’. 90% attendance is the equivalent of:
- One half-day every week
- Four whole weeks of lessons in the school year
- On half a school year during KS3 and KS4
- Children who miss this much school have been proven to drop at least ONE GCSE GRADE. A 1% improvement in attendance could mean a 5% improvement in attainment.
Monitoring attendance. We at Alvechurch Middle School closely monitor all children’s attendance. If we feel concerned we will contact our Education Welfare Officer , Hilary Weekes who may contact you either by phone or by letter to discuss any obstacles to regular attendance. However, if attendance does not improve, a meeting may need to be set up with parents to find solutions. Occasionally it may be necessary to request medical evidence in order to authorise continuing medical issues. Continued unauthorised absence could lead to a referral to the Education Investigation Service.
What can parents do. If your child is suffering from a minor ailment such a a cold or a cough please consider sending them to school. We will always send them home if they feel they are too unwell to be here. Keep in contact with us every day to keep us aware of what is wrong and seek advice as to whether your child could even do part of the school day. Please ensure you arrange holidays outside of term time – holidays will only ever be authorised by our Headteacher in exceptional circumstances.
If you are concerned about your child’s attendance you are more than welcome to discuss your concerns with a member of our team or of course you can contact Mrs Weekes who is there to support us. Mrs Weekes is based at South Bromsgrove High School and her contact details are 01527 831 783.